Thursday, July 7, 2016

21 Alternatives to Evernote

I compiled a list of Evernote alternatives posted by former users on the Evernote support forum. These are listed in no particular order and some have brief comments and helpful links.

Apple Notes  (of course this is for people in the Apple world only)

"To use Notes on, go to and sign in using your Apple ID (the one you use with iCloud). If you're using another iCloud app, you can switch to Notes by clicking the app's name at the top of the"

How-To: Migrate notes from Evernote to Apple Notes (9to5 Mac)


Microsoft One Note  -  Note there is a free version with Windows 10, but it is very basic.  The version with Office is much more robust and likely to be appealing to Evernote customers.

Link with help on importing links from Evernote to OneNote (Microsoft)  

OneNote on Twitter:

PC World Tutorial for OneNote (2015)

Training Resources from Microsoft  


Thinkery - "Your brain organized.  Your notes, bookmarks, todo lists, thoughts and things.  Without the hassle."


Cintanotes - Take notes from anywhere and organize them with CintaNotes, a simple notes app for Windows.


Omni Outliner -- "OmniOutliner is a start-to-finish writing app. Perfect for collecting information, outlining Big Ideas, adding structure to any sort of writing, and much more. From grocery lists to email drafts to long-form composition."  Says it is powerful enough to write a novel with it.


Google Keep -- This free Google services lets you add notes, photos, lists and audio.  Seems relatively simple compared to some of the offerings here.


Scrivener -- "Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft."  For Windows and Mac.


Simplenote  -- Claims to be light, clean and works across all your devices.  Available for many platforms.  It's all "completely free".


Wunderlist -- Oriented toward to-do lists and getting things done.  Available for free and works on most platforms (but not Linux).  

### -- "It's a private place to keep your notes, research, passwords, bookmarks, dream logs, photos, documents and anything else you want kept safe. Turtl's easy tagging and filtering make it ideal for organization and research whether for personal or professional projects. "  The data on Turtle is encrypted, so that gets more points from the legal profession.  It's free now, but they are planning a paid premium service (pricing and further details not currently posted).


Quiver  -- "It looks very similar to EN (too similar maybe) but it has support for markdown."  "The programmers notebook."  For Mac.

Quiver profiled by Lifehacker - "Quiver is a Notebook Built for Programmers"


NixNote (with Linux Mint) -- an open source client for Evernote.  Available for Windows, Mac and Linux.


Clipular  -- A screen capture app for Chrome.  "For chrome which works perfectly".  "Screen capture, reinvented. Organize, search & bookmark the web"  Now caps can be saved to Google Drive.  That's handy and inexpensive, even for large collections.

Chrome Store link for Clipular.


Pocket -- "Is pretty good at saving those articles too".  Put articles, videos or pretty much anything into Pocket.  View it later when you are ready.


Pinboard - "Social bookmarking for introverts"

Remember The Milk - oriented toward to-do lists, tasks and reminders.

DropBox with Agent Ransack -- I'm a fan of DropBox as a online file cloud storage service.  I have never used Agent Ransack.  "Agent Ransack is a free software program for finding files on your PC or network drives. It is a 'lite' version of FileLocator Pro and is a free for both personal and commercial use."  I might have to give this a whirl.  I looks useful in general

Quip ( -- lots of features for teams.  

Elephant ( - Elephant is a notetaker with a classic interface you already know.  For Windows, Mac and Linux.  Uses Dropbox (and others) to sync.  Free and open source.

Lima -- Hardware Device.  "I have built my own "solution" using Lima.  Just the cost of the drive and a Lima device (one-time cost), I have access to all my files and on any amount of authorized devices I want."  From their website:  "Your cloud sits in your home.  Get your content anywhere, straight from your Lima."  This keeps your date private and permits tons of storage space without the cost.  It's a small USB key that attaches to your router and then you plug in a portable hard drive. Since this keeps your data off the cloud (and prying eyes), Lima may hold special appeal to lawyers. No monthly fees!

You can buy Lima at Amazon for about $100.


If you still want to stick with Evernote using the Free option, here's how to do it under the new two device limitation.  Log into your account on the web, go to your profile (your pic in the lower left) then settings, devices, and "revoke access" to old dead devices.  It is my understanding you can keep switching various devices on and off if you need to.  In other words, you don't have to delete devices if have more than two that you use on a regular basis.  Most of you probably have at least a desktop, laptop and/or tablet and mobile phone.

If anyone has made the switch, I'd be interested to hear about your experiences.  Also, if you found other solutions, please share with others in the comments!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

So Long Evernote

Learned today that Evernote is changing their prices and what is offered at each tier.  I've been a premium (paid) user for many years and a fan of the service, but I think it is time to try something new.  I currently use it for business and personal use.

Under the new plan, there is a still a free option, but it is limited to 60 megs a month and even worse, can only be synced with two devices.  If continue using all your devices, you have to step up now to Evernote "Plus" which is about $4 a month or $35 a year.  This comes with 1 gig of upload space each month.  The "Premium" plan is now about $8 or $70 a year.  It comes with 10GB of space a year. I currently have Premium, but the cost is only $45 a year.  Wow, that's quite an increase!  Does that mean Evernote is introducing lots of new, nifty features - apparently not!

Frankly, they must be high at Evernote. This seems like a massive miscalculation by the company. Evernote is just not competitive now with other options, especially Microsoft Office (which I already subscribe to).  In all probability, I'll be switching to One Note.  If I keep Evernote at all, it will be a free account only.

Another option (that I have yet to explore) is Google Keep.  Extra storage space at Google is couple of bucks a month if needed and can be used for many purposes.

If you are in the same boat and want to switch to One Note, Microsoft is making it easy.  Here's a program to import your data easily.

So long Evernote!  Good luck trying to sell this to the public.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Two Helpful Sites for Legal Research

I recently learned about two helpful sites for online legal research.  They are not new, just new to me. The first is Court Listener.  This site "is a free legal research [database] containing millions of legal opinions from federal and state courts."  Since it tracks subsequent cases that cite the main case you are researching, it can be used as a poor man's Shepard's.  Court Listener also allows you to download oral arguments for selected cases - nifty!

The second site is called Casetext.  Casetext says it's the "best place to read and write about the law." Similar to Court Listener, it also features cases and excellent tools to track citations called WeCite. What I really like about Casetext is ease of use and the beautiful presentation.  The cases seem so much more readable on this website than many others.  Casetext encourages discussions about the case on a unobtrusive sidebar.  I believe this feature has tremendous potential.  Big thumbs up!

Would you like more information about the pending bankruptcy form changes and a preview?  As a reminder, these will go into effect on December 1st.  Click here.

All month, every time I see Google's new logo, I am annoyed.  I can't help thinking to myself, "Boy does that new logo suck!"  This must be my inner graphics design artist.  Tonight I used Google to see if I was the only one who felt this way.  The short answer is "Nope!"  Check out this interesting thread, "Google's New Logo Sucks" on New Media Rock Stars.  Dozens of comments confirmed the validity of my feelings and effectively summarized the problems with the new flat design.  Here's the chief complaints:  looks like it was designed by a child in kindergarten, boring and uninspired, "don't fix it if it isn't broke", mindless change for the sake of change and justify new hires and messes with the brand identity.  I agree with all these things.  *gag*

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Are you having trouble trying to run websites that use Java, Silverlight and other plug-ins with Chrome? That's likely because Google is using heavy-handled tactics to turn them off!  They are systemically breaking the Internet with this arrogant decision.  It should be our choice not theirs!
"In September 2015 we will remove the override and NPAPI support will be permanently removed from Chrome. Installed extensions that require NPAPI plugins will no longer be able to load those plugins.  For more details on the timeline, including guidance for NPAPI plugin developers, see the NPAPI deprecation guide. With each step in this transition, we get closer to a safer, more mobile-friendly web."
See this article for more information about Chrome's plans:  The Final Countdown for NPAPI

Firefox will continue to support NPAPI plugins and I suggest using that browser going forward.  If you are in the US, you can download the latest version here.  Works great with Windows 10!

This article from gHacks is recommended for more information.

-- Michael

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sunset For EZ-Filing

CIN Legal has unceremoniously killed off EZ-Filing bankruptcy software. Earlier this week they notified customers that the software will no longer be supported or updated after November 30, 2015. I have used EZ-Filing in my practice for well over ten years and it has generally served me well for dozens of clients. CIN wants lawyers to move to their other, most costly software packages. Details about the transition can be found here.

When I purchased EZ-Filing, it was not affiliated with CINLegal. EZ-Filing Inc. and CINLegal got married in 2012. At the time they announced working together, EZ-Filing wrote, "We here at EZ-Filing, Inc. truly appreciate our on-going relationship with you and assure you that nothing substantive will change going forward with The CINgroup ... We are here to serve you and will continue to be here for the long-term." UH-HUH ... I don't know about you, but three years is not what I consider "long term." The writing may have been on the wall the entire time. It always seemed weird to me, around the same time CIN also started business relationships with Best Case and CINCompass. And more recently they acquired the assets of New Hope Software Inc. who until recently also published bankruptcy software. I don't understand why CIN would really want or need four bankruptcy software solutions under their banner. Two are now defunct. I have to wonder if Best Case is next in a "power play" to force everyone to their web based product Compass. I don't like how all this played out. As an attorney, I appreciate when I have more options when it comes to necessary software in my practice, not less. And I hardly think this makes the market more competitive. The cost of bankruptcy software already is exorbitant.

Any any rate, I am now forced to shop for new software and I am not looking forward to learning it. There was a time, back in the days of DOS when I used to enjoy endlessly playing around with all kinds of different software. These days, I mostly just want to get work done. Computers are not as fun for me as they used to be. Earlier this afternoon I spent a couple hours looking around at the dwindling bankruptcy software options for attorneys. I compiled a list with some notes about the current prices. I know many others are in the same boat so I decided to share my research here. I'd love to hear comments about the best option for solos and others will a small practice. Good luck in your search!

-- Michael

PS. Sunset photo credit to Geek Philosopher - lots of great stock photos, wallpaper etc.


Bankruptcy Software for Attorneys
Blankrupter 4.9 Bankruptcy Filing Software;cluster_id=154900
CD Version for unlimited use (Chapter 7, 11, 12, 13), single user $750, add user $99.95, 5 users network $1195
Single case bankruptcy filing - $55 per case, 5 cases $49, 10 cases $42.50
annual maintenance - single user $250, added user $35, 5 user $365
upgrade fees also listed between $300-450 depending on age of version

Best Case
Single User (1 atty 1 support worker from one office location, no network) - 7 only $1095, 7&13 $1295, 7-11-12-13 $1495.
Multi-User - everyone in office from one location - 3 users on LAN - 7 only $1595, 7&13 $1795, all $1995

CIN Compass (web based)
Chrome browser issues - may be fixed September 2015
Saves 5% with annual subscriptions
Tier One - $75 month ($855 annual) - 0 to 2 filings for month
Tier Two - $100 month ($1140 annual) - 3 - 5 per month
Tier Three - $150 month ($1710 annual) - 6 - 10 per month
Tier Four - $300 month ($3420 annual) - 11-20 per month
Tier Five - $500 month ($5700 annual) - 21-50 per month
All include Chapters 7, 9, 11, 12, 13 (includes local Chap 13 plans)
Unlimited User Accounts

Legal Pro
5 Case License - $195 - local install with 1 computer (7,11,12,13) within a 5 year period.
Full License - $495 for Chapter 7 only, $995 for 7,11,12,13 - unlimited cases for one workstation ($150 extra workstations)

Law Firm Software - unknown name of software
Single Use Bankruptcy Software ("One month License"- save print and file within one month) - $89
Chapter 7 only - $299 - annual renewal unknown
Chapter 7, 11, 13 - $429. Annual renewal just $199
*Note - "promo" prices listed - unknown when it goes "off" promo, if ever.

Legal Pro Cloud Platform
$195 - Five Cases for $195, no set up fees, no time limit, 2 users, add IGotNotices for $295 yr., limited phone support
$49 monthly, no set up, pay yearly get 2 mos. free, unlimited users, 100 annual filings then $6 a case, add IGN for $395, free priority phone support
$99 monthly, no set up, pay annual get 2 mos. free, unlimited users, 250 annual filings then $4 a case
$250 monthly, 1000 annual filings then $1

Next Chapter (100% Cloud Based)
Starter - 1 to 4 filings per mo. -$59 - no set up fee or monthly fee
Grow - 5-24 per mo. $149 - per month + 10 for filing.
Hero - 25+ per mo. $699 per month - unlimited filing.
No minimum contracts, no set up fees, no cancellation fees.

National Law Firms Bankruptcy Case Software
$429 "promo price" (unknown ending date if ever) - includes 1 year of updates.
Works for Chapters 07, 11, 13
Software can be used on up to three computers
Annual license fee is $199 after first year
Demo lets you try b4 you buy. Support via phone or web.

TopForm by FastCase
Single User with updates - $1276
Network 2-20 with updates - $1869
Higher user options available
Version 14.0 is latest
Annual cost is unknown

WBank (Puritas Springs Software)
$199 - handles Chapter 7, 11, 12, 13
Version 8.10 is latest.

NOTE: Information, prices and personal notes were current on 08.12.15 and subject to change at any time. I tried to be as accurate as possible in compiling this list, but it could contain errors and omissions. Prospective users should investigate the features and prices of each publisher directly on the links provided.

If you are aware of any other bankruptcy software for attorneys, please tells us in the comments! Corrections, updates and clarifications are welcome in the comments as well.


Dead Bankruptcy Software (now or very soon to be)

Law Disks Bankruptcy Disk


Lamson Tech

New Hope Software Inc.

Ez-Filing (discontinued after November 2015)

Thompson West (Legal Solutions)

Lexis-Nexis TopForm
Status of this software is unknown - but appears to be dead - no current information about features/ordering

Bankruptcy Master
Appears dead - no software appears to be offered. Unknown status
Appears dead - I couldn't find any mention of bankruptcy software for sale on this site.

Moving to Blogger

I am moving this blog over to Blogger.

You'll find my new post about EZ-Filing (and New Hope) options there.

I used to love Xanga, but I don't feel the leap to WordPress is going well. Xanga seems to be a ghost town now and there doesn't seem to be any support. I don't know if anything is happening behind the scenes, but if there is, development is going way too slow. My site was imported, but the main display is messed up. The profiles are gone also. I think it was a mistake to try and move to WordPress. =(

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mikes Computer Notes (08.26.11)

DO YOU GET tired of Chrome nagging you about outdated plug-ins (such as Java)?  If so, use this command line switch "--allow-outdated-plugins" (without the quotes of course).  To do this, click on your Chrome icon, choose properties, cut and paste the switch at the end of your "target" line.  It should look like this when you are done: chrome.exe --allow-outdated-plugins

For more information on running Chrome with flags, see this page.

STRONG PASSWORDS ARE one of the top security precautions one can take to.  Far too many people still choose passwords that are easy to guess and thus vulnerable to hackers, stalkers, enemies and the like.  The New York Times cited a study in 2010 found one in five people still choose simple passwords such as "123456", "iloveyou", "acb123" and even "password."  The issue is even more serious for legal professionals who have a duty to maintain client confidentiality.  Here's a free website that will help generate strong passwords for you that are very difficult to crack.  Note there is an option to turn symbols on or off.  Symbols are one of the best ways to shore up your password, but are inconvenient to type and harder to remember than numbers and letters.  This website only generates great passwords, it does not manage them for you.

EVER HAVE A need for a random name generator? Here's a free, no-frills one that works well. It mashes up real names lifted from the U.S. Census. A neat setting even allows you select how obscure the generated names are.

DISTURBING COMMENT SEEN on a Newegg product review for a TINY USB key from Transcend (JetFlash T3) -- " Also excellent potential for smuggling data."  Eek!  I do have a couple of these by the way and they truly are the ultimate in portability.  Also, they seem to be more durable than they appear.  Transcend recently introduced a new T3 series with a super durable metal casing.  Available in sizes up to 16 GB at present.

TWITTER COPYCAT HEELO is off to an impressive start!  It took two weeks from it's launch earlier this month to reach the milestone of one million registered users.  Heelo is from the creator of TwitPic.  Like Twitter, messages are limited to 140 characters, and users can attach an optional photo or video and share their location.  Mobile apps for Heelo are coming soon.  Despite the strong start for the service, I personally think Heelo needs to distinguish itself more from Twitter if it is going to succeed in the long run.  Right now, 
I don't see any compelling reason to switch.  Add some unique features guys!

SPRINT AND T-MOBILE will both start offering the iPhone soon.  Sprint as early as October.  For more, see this article in Information Week.

IF YOU ARE a person who doesn't need the latest wiz-bang smartphone and mainly want to talk to people and text, I personally think the best bang for the buck right now is with Sprint's Boost Mobile network. 

-- Michael